Sir Alex Ferguson broke his ‘no 1 transfer rule’ at Manchester United to fend off Real Madrid with one of the club’s biggest flops, who is set to star at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The 2023 AFCON was originally scheduled to take place in June of last year, but fears over bad weather forced tournament organizers to settle for a date in the winter.
The competition is set to get underway in the Ivory Coast on January 13, with Senegal looking to defend the title they won in 2022, defeating Egypt in a penalty shoot-out.
Premier League stars such as Mohamed Salah and Andre Onana will be featuring for their respective nations with a winner set to be crowned on February 11 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.
Also featuring will be one of Manchester United’s worst-ever signings with Bebe called into action for Cape Verde. The forward made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2010, joining United from Vitoria de Guimaraes for £7.2million, having only joined the Portuguese side five weeks earlier.
Famously, Ferguson admitted he never actually watched Bebe play before his signing, claiming interest from Real Madrid and Benfica forced the club to move quickly to secure his services.
Ferguson said: “I know Real Madrid were hovering and so were Benfica. One of those decisions had to be made quickly, so I made it quickly.”
The legendary Scot reportedly broke one of his biggest transfer rules to bring Bebe to Old Trafford.
GiveMeSport report he was adamant that he must watch any potential new signing in person to assess whether they would be good enough for United.
The forward left the club four years later with just seven appearances and two goals – expressing his joy at finally ending his stay at Old Trafford.
Bebe is still playing today, featuring for Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, but will put his club responsibilities on hold after selected for his country.
Cape Verde have competed at AFCON on three occasions, reaching the round of 16 as one of the best third-placed group stage teams but were knocked out by Senegal. Bebe has represented his country 11 times, scoring four times.